Hartlepool MP Mike Hill backs GMB in calling on Asda to think again over controversial contracts
Hartlepool MP Mike Hill is calling on supermarket Asda to think again over controversial changes to staff’s contracts.
The GMB union claims workers are being threatened with the sack if they do not sign up to the Contract Six which it says would mean workers would no longer be paid for breaks and would have to work bank holidays and weekends.
Asda says it would see staff get a pay increase to £9 an hour, are more flexible and are needed to adapt to an increasingly competitive retail landscape.
Hartlepool’s Asda on Marina Way is open 24 hours Tuesday to Friday.
Mr Hill says many workers who have childcare, caring, studying, family and other commitments, won’t be able to be flexible in the way bosses demand.
He said: “It is deeply concerning that such a large employer in Hartlepool is leaving their staff with no choice other than to accept these new contracts or risk losing their job.
“The company needs to think again. “I understand that some improvements to the original contract proposals have been secured by GMB members in Asda, but I’ll be calling on the firm to work constructively with the union, it’s members and workers in Asda to seek a better deal and secure a decent future for Asda workers in Hartlepool.”
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Justin Bowden, GMB National Secretary, said: “In the boardroom it may be all about the bottom line, but out in the Stores this is about real people’s lives being pulled apart with often devastating consequences.
“Enough is enough. Asda must get round the table, negotiate with GMB and stop Contract Six ruining people’s lives.”
Asda said the move enables it to streamline their existing contract base from six different contract types to one, while bringing them line with industry standards.
The firm has also agreed a transitional payment for 18 months for any colleagues who would be financially worse off.
A spokesperson for the retailer said: “
We are continuing to talk to our colleagues about this change and to understand what it might mean for their individual circumstances.”